Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Grandad has cancer

Hi Sam my granddad has cancer and even though the doctors said he’s doing well my dad won’t let me go and see him it’s because my granddad said he didn’t want me to see him like this but I really want to go how should I reason with my mum and dad ?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Having an illness like cancer can mean having treatment which has side effects. Sometimes the illness or medication can affect how the person looks and feels. They might also be tired or sick. If you’re going to see someone who’s ill, it can help to prepare yourself as they might look different to when you last saw them.

People who care about you sometimes try to protect you from feeling upset when someone is ill or in hospital. They might make decisions about what they think is best for you - without asking what you want to happen. It’s okay to tell them what’s important to you and ask them to think about their decision.

You could start the conversation by asking about your granddad. Or you could let them know you want to understand a decision they've made. Choose a time to talk when your parents aren't busy. Try to stay calm and explain clearly how you feel and what you want. If it’s difficult to talk face to face you could send an email, text or write a letter.

It’s okay to be assertive but remember they might not change their decision. Try to think of some suggestions as an alternative to visiting your grandad. Like writing a letter, texting, phoning or a video call. That way you can still spend time with him even if you don’t see him.

You can talk to a counsellor, friend or trusted adult to practise what you might say and to build your confidence.

Take care, and thank you for your letter.


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter